This is one of my Daddy's big brothers, 87 years young, my Uncle George Beard.
Go Fund Me for George Beard
At eight-seven years old, folk artist George Beard, crafts handmade willow furniture in a small workshop in Western Kentucky. George, along with his apprentice, Justin Roberts, forage for the material with nothing but machetes. This is the exact method George learned over fifty years ago and the way that Roberts will continue the work. The lost folk art of willow bending has survived another generation, despite the fast paced world that has grown up around it.
At twenty-nine years of age Justin found George through the Murray Art Guild. After learning the basics of this rustic craft, Justin knew he had found his calling. A few months later Roberts and his small family moved in with George. Just a few weeks later George suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized. After a long winter, George recovered and the work truly began.
The Kentucky Arts Council provided funding for the project through the Folk Art and Life Fellowship Grant. The unlikely pair has seen many changes and successes over the past two years. The apprentice has become a master, both men received the highest honor that Kentucky offers, and now a new project is in the works. WE NEED YOU to help us make it happen.
From One Generation to the Next: The Makings of a Master
We want to make a documentary of George Anderson Beard, traveling on the exact course he once navigated as a young fruit picker and chair maker. Justin, Shannon and their eight year old daughter will accompany George as he tells the stories of dirt roads past. George and Justin will make and sell their wares as Shannon writes songs and stories of their journey. This documentary will be archived and available for generations to come. It is imperative that future generations have the ability to access the rich and fading history of the Americans that carved our culture and give us the gifts of lost wisdom. This is George Beard’s last chance to see the America he helped shape; an unsung hero, passing a quiet but priceless song to the future, through the fingers and hands of a master in the making. Help make this song heard and this art seen. Donate today and receive a hand signed, special edition copy of this inspiring story.